Five women and a man from Kansas City face a litany of charges after being indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged roles in a marriage fraud conspiracy.
Delmar Dixon, 48; Traci R. Porter, 44; her daughter, Tierra Ofield, 23; Stephanie Harris, 21; Shakeisha Harrison, 36; and Kakeland Barnes, 36, all of Kansas City, were charged in a 14-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Aug. 31.
That indictment was made public Tuesday after the arrests and initial court appearances of all six defendants.
Dixon, Porter, Ofield, Harris, Harrison and Barnes are accused of participating in a conspiracy beginning in 2007 in which they were paid to marry African nationals so that their spouses could obtain permanent residency in the United States.
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The federal indictment alleges Dixon arranged marriages between African nationals from Kenya and Tanzania and U.S. citizens. Federal prosecutors allege Dixon charged the African nationals $1,000 upfront for such introductions.
The African nationals were allegedly required to pay the U.S. citizen spouses $500 at the time of the wedding, $500 after the completion of the wedding and $250 each month after the wedding until the immigration process was complete.
In addition to the conspiracy, Dixon, Porter, Harrison and Harris are each charged with one count of marriage fraud.
Dixon, Porter and Harrison are each charged with one count of making a false statement relating to naturalization, one count of unlawfully procuring citizenship or naturalization and one count of false swearing in an immigration matter.